Linked by Dedoimedo on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:17 UTC
Debian and its clones Writing about Debian is not a simple thing. You know it's the giant that has spawned pretty much every other distro out there. It's almost like a Roman Empire, almost a taboo. Furthermore, it's not a desktop distro per se. It's more sort of a template you use to build your platform. It's also a SOHO server distro, therefore it more fits into the business category, comparable to CentOS and similar.
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RE[5]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Lennie on Sat 19th Mar 2011 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

Ubuntu seems to be more focused on setting up the desktop in such a way that everything is where a user probably expects it to be. And the software is and needs to be more up to date than on the server.

With Debian the desktop users are more of a second-class citizen I think or atleast should be familiar with Debian.

I do run Debian servers and everything is exactly where I would expect it to be. No surprises. A lot less updates other than security fixes and hardware support means very little work for admins. Because things which don't upgrade don't break.

So I think server users are the first-class citizens for Debian.

An example if your Apache is 36 months old you might not even notice. But if your Firefox is 36 months old you might be missing out on a lot of stuff.

It's kind of like RHEL isn't really targeted at the desktop either. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 2

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Maybe I should add:

I prefer using the terminal to change things because it is faster if you know how and more predictable, easier to repeat (on many servers for example) or script (even better if you deal with many servers) and so on.

So as a knowledgable user I know how to use Debian to it's full potential.

A desktop user does not need or want all that. With Ubuntu on the desktop I still have the option to do that because most of what is under the hood is done the Debian anyway.

Reply Parent Score: 3

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

You (and I, and others) keep mentioning Ubuntu as the "friendly Debian" alternative, but probably what should be mentioned instead is Mint Debian Edition. It has all the advantages of stock Debian, in that it pulls from Debian repositories directly, but overcomes that first-install horror. It's Debian plus some packages plus some friendliness; the perfect desktop IMO.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Ubuntu seems to be more focused on setting up the desktop in such a way that everything is where a user probably expects it to be. And the software is and needs to be more up to date than on the server.

With Debian the desktop users are more of a second-class citizen I think or atleast should be familiar with Debian.



On average it takes me 2 or 3 hours to install Debian from scratch, including all necessary software, proprietary drivers and plugins and some customization.

Once done it can be used for years by users without too many pretences such as "parents". All that is needed is the security updates.

After all so many people are still using a 10 years old OS, Windows XP.

Reply Parent Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If you haven't already, you can probably shave much off that install time by using some basic bash scripts.

one to copy a modified source.list, retrieve repository keyrings and any other "repo setup" stuff.

one to install your choice of packages

#!/bin/bash
aptitude install \
vim less \
openssh-server \

and so on. I use rows to group similar categories of packages but the "\" lets me wrap the lines so I can read wtihout panning right and left.

one to generate your certificates and copy them in place since they should exist before heavy config happens.

one to do the heavy config once certificates are in place. This can easily be a combination of pre-modified config files copied into place, sed replacements or whatever other scripting tricks you can use to edit config files and reduce what must be pre-modified and copied over.

after all that

one to run regularily to do package updates and maintenance.

Granted, this isn't how I setup a new user but this is how I build out there system for them along with any of my own systems or servers. Makes dev systems easily repeatable and production systems quick to rebuild. It's actually faster to rerun my build scripts than to fetch the drive image from the backup locker.

Reply Parent Score: 2